Ever since bulldozing his way onto the scene with unforgettable tracks like ‘Cuddly Toy’ and ‘Family Man’ in the late 80s, Andrew Roachford’s maverick take on music has spread far and wide. As the first artist to sign a staggering seven-album deal with Columbia Records, it heralded the beginning of something big. “Getting signed and being a black British artist gave me a sense of pride” enthuses Andrew.
Like any artist worth their salt, Andrew Roachford’s music is the result of many things. Raised in south London to West Indian parents, as a child of the 70s and 80s, it’s no wonder that his music sounds the way it does. Influenced by everyone from Al Green, Michael Jackson to David Bowie Andrew’s formative years were also spent listening to Radio One, reggae and jazz. Pinpointing the beginning of his musical career as a child he vividly remembers being mysteriously drawn from his bed to play the piano in his living room. “There was always a piano in the house and I just got up and started playing even though I’d never played before. There was something quite surreal and magical about it.” Looking at Andrew Roachford’s family history, though, it shouldn’t come as any surprise… Read more
Born into a musical dynasty, his uncle Bill Roachford was a virtuoso saxophonist. The musical ball really started to roll however, when Andrew hit the road with his uncle. Playing gigs on the jazz circuit in those days, gave him a good grounding for things to come. “I got lucky enough to start gigging when I was about 14. I was in the middle of that whole jazz scene which was an interesting education. It taught me musically, how to listen and how to entertain. My uncle always told me that you had to give people a show.”
Andrew was Columbia’s biggest selling domestic act for over ten years. As if any more proof were needed, the fact that Andrew Roachford has been approached by such luminaries as Michael Jackson and Chaka Khan to write songs, speaks volumes.
Andrew’s trademark has become his rare ability to put into words, feelings you didn’t even know you had, “It’s one of the reasons why I make music; to bring out those things that people feel, but haven’t always got a voice for. I like to bring the inner person to the forefront”. And over the year’s, anthems like ‘Lay Your Love Out On Me’, ‘Naked Without You’ and ‘Complicated’ to name but a few have done just that.
“I’m always pushing myself as an artist. When it comes to songwriting, I naturally gravitate to digging deep. That’s how it works for me”. With Platinum and Gold selling albums, a career that spans two decades, and the last five years seeing him writing and singing on everything from top-five selling international dance tracks to co-writing and touring with Mike and the Mechanics, Andrew is undeniably a prolific and unique talent.
With his latest offering Andrew delivers a deeply honest and powerful album. He is back doing what he does best – taking the daily challenges of life and love and helping the rest of us make sense of it all. “You start off being what you’re not in life and then the path has this uncanny way of bringing you back to who you really are. Life is really just a journey back home”.
Biography courtesy of Andrew Roachford
01 – Roachford – Family Affair (DJ Spen, David Anthony & Bennett Holland Remix, 2016)
02 – Roachford – Kathleen (Roachford, 1988)
03 – Roachford – Cuddly Toy (Roachford, 1988)
04 – Roachford – Time (Feel, 1997)
05 – Roachford – From Now On (The Roachford Files, 2000)
06 – Roachford – Grandma’s Hands (Encore, 2016)
07 – Roachford – Holding Back The Years (Encore, 2016)
Background music during the interview:
Ghablang – Sondi Miti Mi, Roachford – The Man That I Am, Roachford – Get Ready, Roachford – How Could I (Insecurity), Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands, Stevie Wonder – You Are The Sunshine Of My Life